WBEZ | baseball http://www.wbez.org/tags/baseball Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The rise of the right in Europe http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-06-25/rise-right-europe-112255 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Flickr%20European%20Parliament.jpg" style="width: 562px; height: 375px;" title="(Flickr/European Parliament)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/211973247&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Europe&#39;s political shift</span><br />&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">A bloc of far-right political leaders have banded together to form a right-wing bloc in the European Parliament. The move comes as anti-migrant sentiments, along with ultra-conservative election wins in countries like Poland, Hungary and Denmark, have many observers concerned that Europe is tilting towards right-wing extremism. We&rsquo;ll discuss the politics and climate of racism and intolerance in Europe with Michael Privot, director of the European Network Against Racism.<br /><br /><strong>Guest:</strong> <em><a href="https://twitter.com/mpriv_o">Michael Privot</a> is&nbsp;<span id="docs-internal-guid-9abb0617-2c69-a013-060c-aaa4562c212c">director of the <a href="https://twitter.com/enareurope">European Network Against Racism</a>.</span></em></p></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/211972744&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Baseball in France</span><br />&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">A 16 year-old girl from France made Major League Baseball history recently by becoming the first recorded female player to be registered for the MLB draft. France probably doesn&rsquo;t seem like the likeliest country of origin for a baseball trailblazer. Did you even know they played baseball in France? Dr. Jeffrey H. Fox is a baseball fanatic and Francophile. He&rsquo;s Professor Emeritus of French at the College of DuPage and author of &#39;Pamela: French for Billionaires,&#39; a French novel with a baseball component. Patrice Baudin is a French former baseball player and the Delegate Delegate General Americas for the French Federation of Baseball &amp; Softball. Patrice and Dr. Fox join us to get a little inside-baseball à la Française.<br /><br /><strong>Guests:</strong></p><ul><li style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><em>Dr. Jeffrey H. Fox is author<span id="docs-internal-guid-35b014ab-2c6c-519c-d9d1-9776cc94a0ee"> of &#39;</span>Pamela: French for Billionaires&#39; and Professor Emeritus of French at the College of DuPage. </em></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"><em>Patrice Baudin is <span id="docs-internal-guid-35b014ab-2c6e-566c-2e90-2102b4c7aba2">former baseball player and Delegate General Americas for the <a href="http://baseballfrance.com/">French Federation of Baseball &amp; Softball</a></span></em></li></ul></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/211971999&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><span style="font-size: 23.9999980926514px; background-color: rgb(255, 244, 244);">Global Activism: update from La Isla Foundation</span><br />&nbsp;</div><div style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">La Isla Foundation was formed in 2008 after independent filmmaker Jason Glaser met Juan Salgado, a community organizer from Candelaria, Nicaragua. Jason was in Nicaragua making a film about banana workers when Juan informed him of an epidemic of kidney disease occurring in Candelaria and La Isla (&quot;The Island&quot;), neighboring villages in the municipality of Chichigalpa in western Nicaragua. The disease was ravaging agricultural laborers working on a local sugar-cane plantation. Juan, a former worker on the plantation who was fired when he showed the first signs of kidney disease, introduced Jason to the people of La Isla and Candelaria. Over the following months, Jason watched as, one by one, friends he had made died from kidney failure. He put his film aside and started La Isla Foundation. Jason Glaser joins us to give us an update on the work he&rsquo;s been doing in Nicaragua.<br /><br /><strong>Guest:</strong> <em>Jason Glaser is&nbsp;<span id="docs-internal-guid-0c07a50d-2c71-47d6-2e6b-fc42357d2089">president and co-founder of <a href="https://laislafoundation.org/">La Isla Foundation</a>.</span></em></p></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Thu, 25 Jun 2015 15:14:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/worldview/2015-06-25/rise-right-europe-112255 Morning Shift: Celebrating Opening Day weekend with a look inside baseball's past, present and future http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-04-03/morning-shift-celebrating-opening-day-weekend-look-inside <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Flickr%20Shannon.jpg" title="(Flickr/Shan213)" /></div><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199084043&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Celebrating Opening Day weekend with a look inside baseball&#39;s past, present and future</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Wrigley Field turned 100 last year, and next year marks the 100th year of the Cubs as it&rsquo;s tenant. But the Cubs have been around a lot longer than the stadium. We discuss the pre-Wrigley years &nbsp;with author Laurent Pernot. Also, everything you need to know about new rules for the 2015 MLB season</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199084038&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Pence preps to sign new &#39;religious freedom&#39; bill</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Indiana lawmakers fixed its so called Religious Freedom Restoration Act Thursday in Indianapolis. Indiana&rsquo;s Governor Mike Pence signed SB 50 after an entire day of debate. The fix hopes to lessen the possibility of large protest during this weekend&rsquo;s NCAA men&rsquo;s Final Four in Indy. What does the law do and does it go far enough? And will it start to repair Indiana&rsquo;s reputation and economy since so many voice loud objections that the law could be used to discriminate against gay people. Joining us is WBEZ&rsquo;s Michael Puente.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong>Guest: </strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/mikepuentenews">Michael Puente</a> is WBEZ&#39;s Northwest Indiana Bureau reporter</em>.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199084036&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Cubs future could be promising with new biz plan</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The Cubs home opener is Sunday but fans looking to sit in the outfield bleachers will have to wait. Construction at Wrigley Field continues and the team is still working on getting everything in place. But while all the parts on the field aren&rsquo;t physically in place, an article by Bloomberg says the front office is making business moves that could propel the Cubs to be even more profitable, and possibly add more wins to the season. Bloomberg&rsquo;s Ira Boudway details what team president Theo Epstein is doing right.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong>Guest: </strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/iboudway">Ira Boudway</a> is a reporter with Bloomberg Businessweek.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199084032&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: inherit; font-size: 24px; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; line-height: inherit;">Major League Baseball debuts new pace-of-play rules in 2015</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">The baseball season is almost upon us. That&#39;s great news for baseball fans slogging it out through the long winter. But Major League Baseball is hoping to attract new fans. One way they are hoping to do that is by streamlining the game through new rules regulating the pace of play. WBEZ&rsquo;s Cheryl Raye-Stout explains the new rules and what it means for our favorite past time.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong>Guest:&nbsp;</strong><em><a href="https://twitter.com/Crayestout">Cheryl Raye Stout</a>&nbsp;is&nbsp;WBEZ&#39;s sports contributor</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199084031&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><font color="#333333"><span style="font-size: 24px;">New book looks at early Cubs history</span></font></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Wrigley Field turned 100 last year, and next year marks the 100th year of the Cubs as it&rsquo;s tenant. But the Cubs have been around a lot longer than the stadium. The team existed for decades before they relocated to the North Side, decades before they were even called the Cubs! There&rsquo;s a new book brimming with stories from the earliest days of the sport in The Windy City. It&rsquo;s called Before The Ivy: The Cubs&rsquo; Golden Age in Pre-Wrigley Chicago. Author Laurent Pernot sat down with Morning Shift&rsquo;s Jason Marck to talk about some of the history.&nbsp;</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong>Guest:</strong><em> <a href="https://twitter.com/boroille">Laurent Pernot</a> is an author and the Executive Vice Chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/199084029&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe><span style="font-size: 24px; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Rabbits as pets</span></p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);">Wrigley Field It&rsquo;s Easter time again, when pet stores see spikes in rabbit sales as gifts. But experts warn they may not be the best pets for everyone. WBEZ&rsquo;s Monica Eng shares her personal story of owning two rabbits. And we&rsquo;re joined by Marcia Coburn who is president of Red Door Animal Shelter in Rogers Park which takes in dozens of rabbits a year. She explains what you need to know before running out after Easter to buy a bunny for a pet.</p><p style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><strong>Guests: </strong></p><ul><li style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">Monica Eng</a> is a producer and reporter for WBEZ</em></li><li style="margin: 0px 0px 18px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51);"><em>Marcia Coburn is the president of <a href="http://www.reddoorshelter.org/">Red Door Animal Shelter</a> in Rogers Park&nbsp;</em></li></ul></p> Fri, 03 Apr 2015 09:44:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift/2015-04-03/morning-shift-celebrating-opening-day-weekend-look-inside White Sox icon Minnie Minoso dies http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/white-sox-icon-minnie-minoso-dies-111639 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Minnie Minoso 1955 AP crop site_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong>▲ LISTEN&nbsp;</strong><em>WBEZ&#39;s Yolanda Perdomo talks with Morning Edition host Lisa Labuz about Minoso&#39;s life and career.</em></p><p style="text-align: center;">...</p><p>Minnie Minoso, the seemingly ageless Cuban slugger who broke into the majors just two years after Jackie Robinson and turned into the game&#39;s first black Latino star, has died, a medical examiner in Illinois said Sunday.</p><p>The Cook County medical examiner&#39;s office did not immediately offer further details. There is some question about Minoso&#39;s age but the Chicago White Sox say he was 90.</p><p>Minoso played 12 of his 17 seasons in Chicago, hitting .304 with 135 homers and 808 RBIs for the White Sox. The White Sox retired his No. 9 in 1983 and there is a statue of Minoso at U.S. Cellular Field.</p><blockquote><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/dynamic-range/minnie-minosos-first-game-106394"><strong>Hear Minoso tell the story of his first game in Comiskey</strong></a></p><p><a href="http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/white-sox-icon-minnie-minoso-dies-111639#obama"><strong>Obama: Minoso will always be &#39;Mr. White Sox&#39;</strong></a></p></blockquote><p>&quot;We have lost our dear friend and a great man,&quot; White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf said in a release. &quot;Many tears are falling.&quot;</p><p>Minoso made his major league debut with Cleveland in 1949 and was dealt to the White Sox in a three-team trade two years later. He became major league baseball&#39;s first black player in Chicago on May 1, 1951, and homered in his first plate appearance against Yankees right-hander Vic Raschi.</p><p>It was the start of a beautiful relationship between the slugger and the White Sox.</p><p>Minoso, regarded as baseball&#39;s first black Latino star, was a Havana native who spent most of his career in left field. He is one of only two players to appear in a major league game in five different decades. He got his final hit in 1976 at age 53 and went 0 for 2 in two games in 1980 for the White Sox, who tried unsuccessfully over the years to get the &quot;Cuban Comet&quot; into baseball&#39;s Hall of Fame.</p><p>&quot;When I watched Minnie Minoso play, I always thought I was looking at a Hall of Fame player,&quot; Reinsdorf said in an informational package produced by the team for a 2011 Cooperstown push. &quot;I never understood why Minnie wasn&#39;t elected.</p><p>&quot;He did everything. He could run, he could field, he could hit with power, he could bunt and steal bases. He was one of the most exciting players I have ever seen.&quot;</p><p>Saturnino Orestes Armas Minoso Arrieta was selected for nine All-Star games and won three Gold Gloves in left. He was hit by a pitch 192 times, ninth on baseball&#39;s career list, and finished in the top four in AL MVP voting four times.</p><p>Despite the push by the White Sox and other prominent Latin players, Minoso has never made it to Cooperstown. His highest percentage during his 15 years on the writers&#39; ballot was 21.1 in 1988. He was considered by the Veterans Committee in 2014 and fell short of the required percentage for induction.</p><p>&quot;My last dream is to be in Cooperstown, to be with those guys,&quot; Minoso said in that 2011 package distributed by the White Sox. &quot;I want to be there. This is my life&#39;s dream.&quot;</p><p>Minoso, who made his major league debut with Cleveland in 1949, hit .298 for his career with 186 homers and 1,023 RBIs. The speedy Minoso also led the AL in triples and steals three times in each category.</p><p>Playing in an era dominated by the Yankees, Minoso never played in the postseason.</p><p>&quot;Every young player in Cuba wanted to be like Minnie Minoso, and I was one of them,&quot; Hall of Fame slugger Tony Perez said. &quot;The way he played the game, hard all the time, hard. He was very consistent playing the game. He tried to win every game. And if you want to be like somebody, and I picked Minnie, you have to be consistent.&quot;</p><p>Minoso appeared in just nine games in his first stint with the Indians, but he took off when he was dealt to Chicago as part of a three-team trade in 1951 that also involved the Philadelphia Athletics. He went deep in his first plate appearance against Yankees right-hander Raschi, and hit .375 in his first 45 games with the White Sox.</p><p>Minoso finished that first season in Chicago with a .326 batting average, 10 homers and 76 RBIs in 146 games for the Indians and White Sox. He also had a major league-best 14 triples and an AL-best 31 steals.</p><p>It was Minoso&#39;s first of eight seasons with at least a .300 batting average. He also had four seasons with at least 100 RBIs.</p><p>&quot;I have baseball in my blood,&quot; Minoso said. &quot;Baseball is all I&#39;ve ever wanted to do.&quot;</p><p><span style="font-size:24px;">President Barack Obama&#39;s statement about Minoso<a name="obama"></a></span></p><blockquote><p>For South Siders and Sox fans all across the country, including me, Minnie Minoso is and will always be &ldquo;Mr. White Sox.&rdquo;</p><p>The first black Major Leaguer in Chicago, Minnie came to the United States from Cuba even though he could have made more money elsewhere.&nbsp; He came up through the Negro Leagues, and didn&rsquo;t speak much English at first.&nbsp; And as he helped to integrate baseball in the 1950s, he was a target of racial slurs from fans and opponents, sometimes forced to stay in different motels from his teammates.&nbsp; But his speed, his power &ndash; and his resilient optimism &ndash; earned him multiple All-Star appearances and Gold Gloves in left field, and he became one of the most dominant and dynamic players of the 1950s.</p><p>Minnie may have been passed over by the Baseball Hall of Fame during his lifetime, but for me and for generations of black and Latino young people, Minnie&rsquo;s quintessentially American story embodies far more than a plaque ever could.</p><p>Michelle and I send our thoughts and prayers to his family and fans in Chicago, Cleveland, and around the world.</p></blockquote><p><span style="font-size:24px;">More from the WBEZ archives about the baseball legend <a name="playlist"></a></span></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="380" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/playlists/85470411&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_comments=true&amp;show_user=true&amp;show_reposts=false&amp;show_artwork=false" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Sun, 01 Mar 2015 12:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/white-sox-icon-minnie-minoso-dies-111639 Gentrification and Jackie Robinson West Little League: Was the playing field ever even? http://www.wbez.org/news/sports/gentrification-and-jackie-robinson-west-little-league-was-playing-field-ever-even-111564 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/jackierobinsonwest1_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>It was the feel good story of last summer. Thousands of Chicagoans tuned in--and turned out--for the boys of Jackie Robinson West.</p><p>&quot;It&rsquo;s the thing that we actually needed this summer with all of the different violence...to really bring people together to show what we can do,&quot; Chicago Ald. Latasha Thomas (17th) said.</p><p>Many other politicians showed support--Mayor Rahm Emanuel organized watch parties, rallies and parades during the team&#39;s August run.</p><p>When the champions returned home and paraded the streets of Chicago, Maria Hamilton, 83, stood at the corner of 79th and Halsted Streets. She wasn&#39;t a baseball fan, but said it was exciting and she felt proud watching the local kids play on the national stage.</p><p>&quot;They smiled, they never pout or say nothing...they go right ahead and do the best they can in the game. And I really think they&rsquo;re going to go places,&quot; Hamilton gleamed.</p><p><br />The whole city was electrified; giddy even.<br /><br />But, amidst the excitement, there were signs that something was off, in some cases literal signs.</p><p>Like the one the mayor of south suburban Lynwood put outside village hall to celebrate the village&rsquo;s &quot;own&quot; Jackie Robinson West player. Or the congratulatory posts on social media from Illinois House Rep. Robin Kelly, calling out two players from South Holland and another from Dolton, all outside the city limits.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<br /><br />When WBEZ asked Nedra Jones, the mother of the team&rsquo;s home-run hitter, Pierce, how much of her time was occupied by baseball, she said, &quot;A hour there, two-and-a-half-hour practice, an hour back, three or four times a week.&quot;<br /><br />The signs were eclipsed by the city&rsquo;s newest and brightest stars.<br /><br />The Little League World Series games shattered ESPN ratings records. The kids were all over TV, newspapers, social media, even the White House.<br /><br />Dave Zirin, sports editor at The Nation magazine, said it felt all too familiar.<br /><br />&quot;It feels just so typical--the ways in which the media built up this group of young kids for the all the obstacles they confronted and then now is taking a seeming glee in tearing them down,&quot; Zirin said.<br /><br />He says gentrification is the real scandal in this story.<br /><br />&quot;The amount obstacles of obstacles and hoops that Jackie Robinson West had to go through just to field a team is something that Little League Inc. never took into account--it&rsquo;s the most unequal of possible playing fields,&quot; Zirin explained.<br /><br />He believes baseball has become a casualty of urban gentrification. And that there&rsquo;s a reason leagues look for players outside their boundaries.<br /><br />&quot;Little league is such a suburban operation,&quot; Zirin began. &quot;And the boundaries in the suburbs, by necessity, don&rsquo;t only mean a greater number of kids who play baseball--but a greater number of fields, a greater number of community centers, a greater amount of infrastructure than cities could possibly hope to compete with.&quot;<br /><br />There are twice as many baseball fields in Evergreen Park as there are in Roseland.<br /><br />There may as well be no parks in the far South Side neighborhood, according to longtime Roseland resident James Brown.</p><p>&quot;We&rsquo;re out there in Roseland--if I&rsquo;m not mistaken there&rsquo;s six parks. And you could ride past those parks on any given day and they&rsquo;re not being utilized,&quot; Brown said.<br /><br />The high school football coach spent last summer in the car with his son Semaj, 12, taking him and friends to and from baseball.<br /><br />&quot;I gotta take my son all the way to Englewood to play in a program that&rsquo;s nice...that&rsquo;s sad,&quot; a visibly upset Brown shared.<br /><br />There is a league in Roseland, but Brown said there&#39;s no coach.<br /><br />Little League International has more than 6,500 teams participating in 90 countries around the world. The U.S. is broken down into regions and districts. There are six leagues in District 4, which covers the Southeast Side of Chicago, all the way down to near Calumet.<br /><br />Before the start of the 2014 season, Little League International changed residency rules to allow little leaguers to play where their school was located. The goal, they said, was to &quot;ease the burden on parents and guardians.&quot;<br /><br />But where a kid lives and where they go to school can be quite different in Chicago.<br /><br />It gets more complicated, Brown&rsquo;s sister, Victoria Harper Peeples explained, when neighborhood violence and resources are taken into account.<br /><br />&quot;We (are) stressed out just trying to make sure, &lsquo;did I put them in the right school, did I let &lsquo;em hang with the right friends, did I put him on the right baseball team?&rsquo; There&rsquo;s just so many things that we have to do as parents, and we always put on the spotlight.&quot;<br /><br />Harper Peeples put her two boys on the Englewood team too. She still felt angst, even right after the boys won their championship game last summer.<br /><br />&quot;I mean, it&rsquo;s no chance that mom or dad could make a mistake. It&rsquo;s like, we almost have to be perfect individuals, at least in the sight of our children,&quot; she explained.<br /><br />Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson held a pair of news conferences in as many days, calling the league&#39;s decision &ldquo;inappropriate.&rdquo; He invoked the legacy of Muhammad Ali, who had his heavyweight title stripped when he refused to enlist.</p><p>&quot;Champions don&#39;t belong on the ground,&quot; Jackson began, &quot;and so, they stand up.&quot;<br /><br />He encouraged the players and parents to stand up and fight. Ousted JRW president Bill Haley hired high-profile attorney Victor Henderson, who said there are no plans for a lawsuit at the moment. Henderson will also represent the players, and said no one should question their integrity.<br /><br />&quot;It may to pass that &#39;i&#39;s were not dotted and &#39;t&#39;s were not crossed and if that happens, then we&rsquo;ll cross that bridge when we get to it...but we&rsquo;re not there right now,&quot; Henderson told reporters on Thursday.<br /><br />Henderson said he intends to investigate the league&rsquo;s decision to strip the team of its title. He said that on the baseball field, and in life, it&#39;s important that the same rules apply to everyone.<br /><br />&quot;Whether it&rsquo;s Ferguson County, Missouri or whether it&rsquo;s Eric Garner in Staten Island or whether it&rsquo;s Jackie Robinson in Chicago...there should just be one set of rules,&quot; Henderson began. &quot;We don&rsquo;t want one set of rules for a team for Chicago and another set of rules for a team in Evergreen Park. We don&rsquo;t want one set of rules for the police and another set of rules for young black men&hellip;&quot;<br /><br />In light of the involvement of attorneys, Little League International said it is not commenting on the decision, except to say they&rsquo;re standing by it.</p><p><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her<a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez"> @katieobez</a></em></p></p> Sun, 15 Feb 2015 12:23:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/sports/gentrification-and-jackie-robinson-west-little-league-was-playing-field-ever-even-111564 Unmasking Ernie Banks http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/unmasking-ernie-banks-111480 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/ernie.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>For baseball fans, the sound of Jack Brickhouse calling Ernie Banks&rsquo; 498th, 499th and most especially, the Chicago Cub&rsquo;s 500th home run is, euphoria. The week after Banks died at the age of 83, fans, fellow ballplayers and the media talked endlessly about his talent&mdash;and charisma.</p><p>&ldquo;He liked being out in the public, it was important to him, people would recognize him. And if they didn&rsquo;t recognize him right away they might because of the Cub jacket and Cub hat he always wore,&rdquo; sports writer Ron Rapoport said.</p><p>Rapoport first got to know Banks when he was a sports columnist for the <em>Chicago Sun-Times</em>. But says he didn&rsquo;t get to know the man until later in life, when both men were living in California.</p><p>&ldquo;He was wearing a mask. It was a good mask and he liked wearing it...but the mask wasn&rsquo;t the man,&rdquo; Rapoport said.&nbsp;</p><p>Rapoport said the man was thoughtful, reflective and complicated...and almost eloquent.</p><p>He used to clock how long it took Banks to remove the mask when they were out in public; said he averaged about 20 minutes.</p><p>Banks&rsquo; swing was natural, fluid, zen-like. But his public persona required coaching from the start.</p><p>&ldquo;Ernie&rsquo;s first important baseball job was with&nbsp; the Kansas City Monarchs of the old Negro Leagues where Buck O&rsquo;Neil was the manager. And O&#39;Neill used to tell him which restaurants to go to...not to be caught &ldquo;reckless eyeballing white women,&rdquo; Rapoport explained.</p><p>Banks eventually found his way with the Monarchs&mdash;then, Jackie Robinson happened. A few years later, when the Chicago Cubs chose to integrate, they went for Banks; but Banks didn&rsquo;t want to go.</p><p>&ldquo;I just felt comfortable playing in the Negro Leagues. I didn&#39;t know what to do or what to say; it was a learning process in learning how to get along...with white players,&rdquo; Banks told WBEZ in 2010.</p><p>Banks learned to say little to his teammates in the big leagues and, instead, made friends in the little leagues. During the offseason, teams would invite him to throw out the first pitch and meet the kids, but when he got there&hellip;.</p><p>&ldquo;They would look at me, they would start talking ...&rsquo;Oh, I thought he was white, he&rsquo;s black.&rsquo; Because of my name, they...they didn&rsquo;t know,&rdquo; Banks laughed.</p><p>Banks won back-to-back MVP titles and hit 512 home runs, but there were those who wished he&rsquo;d done more for race relations.</p><p>Former longtime WBEZ host Richard Steele shared that the subject frequently comes up at the Coleman Brothers Barber Shop on 62nd and Stony Island, a neighborhood gathering place. One of the brothers, James, is actually an old Army buddy of Banks--and as you might imagine, he&rsquo;s a fierce defender of his old friend.</p><p>&ldquo;There&rsquo;s a senior barber in there, Tommy, who&rsquo;s my barber, who knows how to get a rise out of Mr. Coleman. All you had to do is say something about Ernie Banks and Tommy would say, &ldquo;I hate to say it, he&rsquo;s kind of an Uncle Tom.&rsquo;&rdquo; Coleman would be furious and (14) he would say, &lsquo;Stop saying that! The man is a great baseball player, a great wonderful human being...I knew him in the Army...&rsquo;&rdquo; Steele recalled.</p><p>Banks became a household name around the same time as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But many said Banks didn&rsquo;t fight to get the salary the best player on the team deserved. His max salary was $65,000, while some of the white players he took on in home run derbies were making $100,000.</p><p>Lots of people thought Ernie&rsquo;s silence kept other black players from earning a fair wage. But he wasn&rsquo;t comfortable fighting for it--it wasn&rsquo;t his nature.</p><p>Nowadays, athletes&rsquo; paychecks are bigger--but so is the pressure to do and say more. Longtime WBEZ sports contributor Cheryl Raye Stout says that&rsquo;s unfair.</p><p>&ldquo;To say because you dribble a ball or you hit a ball or you dunk a ball that you&rsquo;re supposed to be a spokesperson is difficult. You can only do that if you feel comfortable in doing it,&rdquo; said Raye-Stout.</p><p>Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose has never been much of a public speaker. But when a kid from Englewood becomes the star of his hometown team--he&rsquo;s expected to put an end to the violence he&rsquo;s witnessed.</p><p>Last December, Rose made his biggest social statement yet--without speaking. He wore a t-shirt bearing the phrase, &ldquo;I Can&rsquo;t Breath&rdquo; during a pre-game warmup. The phrase refers to Eric Garner&rsquo;s last words. The New York man died after a police officer placed him in a chokehold while arresting him for selling loose cigarettes. The demonstration drew mixed reactions--but Rose was glad people paid attention.</p><p>&ldquo;My biggest concern is the kids, I know what they&rsquo;re thinking right now, I was one of them kids. When you live in an area like that and you don&rsquo;t got any hope and police are treating you any way---I&rsquo;m not saying all our police (officers) are treating kids bad but, when you live in an area like that it gives you another reason to be bad,&rdquo; Rose said.</p><p>There will never be a shortage of people telling professional athletes what to do. And that&rsquo;s the real reason, Banks said, &ldquo;let&rsquo;s play two&hellip;&rdquo; He didn&rsquo;t want to leave the field.</p><p>&ldquo;When you&rsquo;re playing baseball, on that field, it&rsquo;s like your whole life, it&rsquo;s your world and you don&rsquo;t want to leave it. It was such a joy to be there, to be able to make decisions on your own: when to swing, when not to swing; when to run, when not to run. I felt this is the only place in the world where I could make my own decisions,&rdquo; Banks said.</p><p>I asked Rapoport if Banks didn&rsquo;t like what was under the mask--he said that wasn&rsquo;t the case at all.</p><p>&ldquo;He&rsquo;d want people to remember the mask, that&rsquo;s what he would want people to remember about him. And that&rsquo;s fair; he&rsquo;s earned the right to be remembered the way he wants to be, I think,&rdquo; Rapoport explained.</p><p>When WBEZ spoke with Banks back in 2010, Landmarks Illinois had just named the Hall of Famer a Legendary Landmark. Asked if he had any regrets, Banks explained he often searched his footsteps for them--but delighted in life&rsquo;s ups and downs. And then, ever the entertainer, he broke out into his friend Frank Sinatra&rsquo;s classic, &ldquo;My Way.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Katie O&rsquo;Brien is a WBEZ reporter and producer. Follow her <a href="http://twitter.com/katieobez" target="_blank">@katieobez</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:18:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/unmasking-ernie-banks-111480 Chicago Cubs legend Ernie Banks, 1st black player in team history, dies http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-cubs-legend-ernie-banks-1st-black-player-team-history-dies-111451 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/banks_0.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Baseball&#39;s Chicago Cubs report that Hall of Fame shortstop Ernie Banks has died. &quot;Mr. Cub,&quot; who began his career in the Negro leagues, was the first black player for the team &mdash; eighth in the majors overall &mdash; and played in 14 All-Star games in his 19 seasons, all with the Cubs.</p><p>&quot;Forty-four years after his retirement, Banks holds franchise records for hits, intentional walks and sacrifice flies and in RBIs since 1900,&quot; <a href="http://m.cubs.mlb.com/news/article/107316594/beloved-mr-cub-hall-of-famer-banks-dies-at-83" target="_blank">MLB.com reports</a>. &quot;He likely holds club records for smiles and handshakes as well. ... His 2,528 games are the most by anyone who never participated in postseason play. Chicago never held him responsible for that and believed he deserved better.&quot;</p><p>Banks, who was 83, was named National League MVP in 1958 and 1959, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013.</p><p>His back-to-back MVP awards were among the few given to players on losing teams, notes The <em>Associated Press</em>:</p><div><blockquote><p>&quot;Banks&#39; best season came in 1958, when he hit .313 with 47 homers and 129 RBIs. Though the Cubs went 72-82 and finished sixth in the National League, Banks edged Willie Mays and Hank Aaron for his first MVP award. He was the first player from a losing team to win the NL MVP.</p><p>&quot;Banks won the MVP again in 1959, becoming the first NL player to win it in consecutive years, even though the Cubs had another dismal year. Banks batted .304 with 45 homers and a league-leading 143 RBIs.&quot;</p></blockquote><p>The <em>Chicago Tribune</em> <a href="http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseball/cubs/ct-sullivan-ernie-banks-spt-0124-20150123-story.html" target="_blank">describes the outlook of Banks, who also was known as &quot;Mr. Sunshine&quot;</a>:</p><blockquote><p>&quot;Ernie Banks didn&#39;t invent day baseball or help build Wrigley Field. He just made the idea of playing a baseball game under the sun at the corner of Clark and Addison streets sound like a day in paradise, win or lose. ... He was a player who promoted the game like he was part of the marketing department. Not because he had to, but because he truly loved the Cubs and the game itself.&quot;</p></blockquote></div><p>&mdash; <em><a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/01/24/379510352/chicago-cubs-legend-ernie-banks-1st-black-player-in-team-history-dies">via NPR</a></em></p></p> Sat, 24 Jan 2015 09:44:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/chicago-cubs-legend-ernie-banks-1st-black-player-team-history-dies-111451 Open tryouts and 'indie ball blues' in Indiana http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/open-tryouts-and-indie-ball-blues-indiana-110216 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/bball.PNG" alt="" /><p><p>On a cold, gray morning in Gary, Ind., about 40 baseball hopefuls sat in the Gary Railcats&rsquo; home dugout, looking up at Manager Greg Tagert.</p><p>It was a bleak day, and Tagert&rsquo;s speech to them was equally bleak.</p><p>The men in the dugout had plunked down $40 for a chance to try out for the &lsquo;Cats - an independent-league team that is about as low on the hierarchy as you can get and still be considered pro ball.</p><p>The players trying out were minor-league washouts trying to hold on, or college stars looking for their big break.</p><p>Tagert told them that only a handful of them would make the cut today - five or less. And even those lucky few couldn&rsquo;t count on making the roster.</p><p>Whether or not you&rsquo;re a fan - baseball means American summer as much as barbecues, fireworks and the beach.</p><p>But for the men in that dugout it means something more -- it&rsquo;s an obsession, a dream job.</p><p>WBEZ spent the day at the open tryouts for the Gary Railcats.</p><p>The Railcats were last season&rsquo;s American Association champions - but the team&rsquo;s players are still looking for a way to move up.</p><p>Even though the small-time, Single A Durham Bulls--remember the movie Bull Durham?-- would be a dream come true for many of them, they are all really good at baseball.</p><p>Just about all the guys who tried out starred on their high school baseball teams. They&rsquo;re not good enough for the big leagues, but they are still way better than you.</p><p>The team&rsquo;s home opener is at 7 Thursday evening against the Wichita Wingnuts.&nbsp; They&rsquo;ll be playing at the U.S. Steel Yard in Gary.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Video producer<a href="https://vimeo.com/jscott1908"> John Scott</a> is a filmmaker who lives and works in Chicago.</em></p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ Producer and Reporter. Follow him on twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/pksmid" target="_blank">@pksmid</a>.</em></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/150617705&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;hide_related=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Wed, 21 May 2014 14:50:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/open-tryouts-and-indie-ball-blues-indiana-110216 Morning Shift: Olympians-and reporters-head home from Sochi http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-24/morning-shift-olympians-and-reporters-head-home-sochi <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/by U.S. Army IMCOM.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We get a post-Sochi games wrap-up from Chicago Tribune reporter Stacy St. Clair. Also, what&#39;s the future of drug policy? And, we talk with the director of a new film that looks at the battle over gay rights within the black community.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-51" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Olympians-and reporters-head home from Sochi" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 08:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-24/morning-shift-olympians-and-reporters-head-home-sochi Morning Shift: Owning the legacy of an artist http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-16/morning-shift-owning-legacy-artist-108439 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Vivian Meier - Flickr - Thomas Leuthard.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The late street photographer Vivian Maier found fame when her photos were discovered and were included in exhibitions, a book and a documentary. But who owns the rights to her work?</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-45.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-45" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Owning the legacy of an artist" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Fri, 16 Aug 2013 08:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-16/morning-shift-owning-legacy-artist-108439 Morning Shift: Doing what it takes to get fans into seats http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-01/morning-shift-doing-what-it-takes-get-fans-seats-0 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Screen Shot 2013-08-01 at 9.24.16 AM.png" alt="" /><p><p>More MLB players are expected to be suspended Friday for using performance enhancing drugs (PED). We discuss the effect the scandal is having on the game, and how the Milwaukee Brewers are making it up to fans after their star player was suspended.</p><p>&nbsp;</p><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-33.js" type="text/javascript" language="javascript"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-33" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Doing what it takes to get fans into seats" on Storify</a>]</noscript></p> Thu, 01 Aug 2013 09:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-08-01/morning-shift-doing-what-it-takes-get-fans-seats-0